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    • 1 Post By Noelle7206

    Thread: Newbie has some questions!! Any help appreciated.

    1. #1
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      Default Newbie has some questions!! Any help appreciated.

      So, basically, I picked up a baby red tail boa (3-4 months) at an expo on Sunday. He is so amazing. He is also my first snake. Well, I keep garter snakes, but boas are a totally different world, there is like hardly any comparison. I have a 20g long tank, with a tight-fitting screen and some screen locks. I covered about a third of the screen with duct tape to help hold in humidity and heats. It is heated by an under tank heater which is hooked to a thermostat. I have two digital thermostats inside the tank, as well as an analog. There are also a digital and an analog humidity gauge. On top, I have a heat lamp for his hot spot. I am using shredded newspaper as bedding, and he has 3 small bark hides and a plastic one in various spots. He also has a water bowl. Right now, the cool side is about 77 degree F, and ambiant hot side is around 82 degrees F, but right on top of the mat, it is 88 degrees F. One humidity gauge says 67, one says 80, so not sure which to believe.

      So, I'd love input on my set-up, any improvements, etc. Maybe he is a little insecure? How can I make him more comfortable?

      Now, I also had a concern with his behavior. Having never kept these guys, I honestly don't know what normal behavior is. When first brought him home and put him in the tank, he spent a few hours exploring, checking things out, and seeing if he could escape. Then, he hid over under the bedding on the hot end of the cage the next day. He stayed around this area till Tuesday, moving position here and there. Then, yesterday, he went over to an exposed corner of the cool end, curled up, and hasn't moved since. He's not in a hide, just sitting on top of some bark curled in a ball. And then, today, I realized his head has some dark blotches on it that I didn't notice before.

      Is this normal? Should I be concerned and be doing something? Is there a chance he will die?

      Thank you to all who answer or give input, I appreciate anything!

    2. #2
      Snake Lover
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      10-17-2017 04:31 PM

      Default Re: Newbie has some questions!! Any help appreciated.

      Sorry for the long response time. I don't know how I didn't see this earlier. Your setup sounds adequate for now and shouldn't be an issue. Boas love to sit in one spot for long periods of time, especially during daylight hours so I wouldn't be concerned about that.
      The only thing I would be concerned about shredded paper is that at least the beddings I have seen have a fine dust which can irritate lungs or cause long term breathing issues. 67-80% humidity is fine and that should keep down the dust if it is present. As long as the snake as plenty of hides and ways to escape vision, they should be fine and not stressed.

      Can you post a picture of the spots? It is unusual but being able to see it, we can give you a better idea if it is normal or something you want to go to a vet about.

    3. #3
      Snake Guru
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      10-17-2017 10:36 PM

      Default Re: Newbie has some questions!! Any help appreciated.

      Sorry, I missed this too, unless it's been "in moderation"? I don't have much to add from previous post by acephantom903 & don't really see any problem using
      shredded paper for bedding (other than if it gets wet, it will flatten & won't dry out easily and might get moldy?)

      As already mentioned, it would really help to see photos of the spots on his head to know what you mean. Some boas change colors a little, going lighter or darker at
      times (who knows why? -maybe stress, maybe other factors?) so maybe the "spots" were always there but you didn't notice them because he was in a lighter phase?

      His behavior sounds normal to me, ALL snakes are afraid and stressed when re-homed...they are best left in peace for about 2 weeks or more so they can relax &
      learn to feel safe...new cages are very confusing for them, same goes for meeting humans. And garter snakes are WAY more active than boas, fyi.

      Remember that anything that picks up a snake in the wild is normally a predator about to eat it...so instinctively, handling causes fear. Job #1 for ALL newly acquired
      snakes is successful feeding & digestion, not "taming" or any sort of handling. I recommend that you don't handle until he has fed easily for 2 or 3 times at normal*
      intervals (*for his age, feed about once a week or a little longer), and it's also best NOT to feed a new snake for at least a week AFTER you first get them. The stress
      may cause them to upchuck their food, which is a set-back best avoided. So for now, let him learn to relax & feel safe. And after he eats, allow a day or two for just
      digestion before handling also.

      Welcome to the forum!
      acephantom903 likes this.

     

     

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